Neosho superintendent gives latest on school district’s closure at Tuesday’s city council meeting

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Dr. Jim Cummins, superintended of Neosho R-5 School District, addresses the city council to answer any questions regarding the school district’s closure surrounding COVID-19 concerns.

NEOSHO, Mo. — At first, the idea of extending spring break sounds great for students and teachers alike. But, when schools extend spring break to prevent the spread of disease, that excitement quickly summons feelings of fear, confusion, and frustration.

It’s been quite the opposite for Neosho Schools, which instead of welcoming students back from break, has spent this week preparing them for the temporary shut-down of the district until April 6. This includes the middle school, junior high, and high school along with the six Neosho elementary schools.

Dr. Jim Cummins, superintendent of the Neosho R-5 School District, addresses the city council to answer any questions regarding the school district’s closure surrounding COVID-19 concerns.

As stated in the district’s March 17 press release, details are being ironed out surrounding the best way to get resources into students’ hands. Along with the press release, FourStatesHomePage was at Tuesday’s city council meeting, where R-5 Superintendent Dr. Jim Cummins was present to answer any questions surrounding the closure.

Here is everything we know about district operations right now:

Meals

Neosho is currently offering free meals to anyone under 18 — regardless of their financial status. Filling out the Student Meal Form will enroll a child for three meals: lunch, dinner, and breakfast for the next morning. Households that do not have internet access can contact their child’s school during business hours to fill out the form over the phone.

Currently, meals can be picked up at Neosho High School and Goodman Elementary during select hours, but work is being done to create an alternative mean of feeding students while they aren’t in school.

Engagement

Keeping students engaged while they aren’t in school is a tremendous obstacle the Neosho School District is facing. A part of this problem is providing students the resources they need to learn, namely the devices they use in their daily curriculum. Grades 7 and up have access to ChromeBooks provided by the district. Decisions are still being made on how to also get those devices out to grades 3 through 6. Leaders are hoping to provide devices to grades K-12 as well.

Events

Not much is known about what the future holds for the Neosho School District. So far, prom has been cancelled to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but a big question mark rests on graduation plans. Commencement is still planned for May 14th on the campus of Missouri Southern, but this could change depending on the statuses of both Neosho Schools and MSSU closer to time.

Neosho R-5 also has a page dedicated to questions surrounding school operations. View the page by clicking here.

For the latest on area closures linked to the spread of coronavirus, click here.

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